Ashland residents call for more safety precautions around train tracks

Posted at 6:38 PM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 18:38:44-05

ASHLAND, Va. -- Dave Ward watched Sunday evening as a train slammed into a car stuck on the tracks right in front of the restaurant where he works.

"He slammed into the car and the car spun around and hit the side of the front of the train and got stuck,” said Ward, who called the event surreal.

Those who work in the area said vehicles get stuck on those tracks more often than most people realize.

"Within the last few months, I have seen and witnessed at least three cars get hung up on the tracks,” said Cat Iacona, who also works beside the railway tracks.

"Maybe once a month this happens,” said Russell Youens, who also works beside railway tracks.

Hank Lowry who said vehicles get stuck four to 10 times a year believes more could be done to stop cars from turning onto the tracks.

"I've urged the town and continue to urge them to please put lights there,” Lowry said.

Just one mile away the night before, another car was struck by the train; two collisions within 24 hours.

On Monday, CSX was out at the scene inspecting the area.

Dozens of trains pass through the town every day on those tracks

Some in town believe a change needs to be made, especially to stop cars from turning onto the tracks.

"I don't think it's 100 percent avoidable but there should be more safety precautions for sure,” said Debra Mahanes, who works near the tracks. "People just got to be more aware.”



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